Emili Vilson o Odiseju

Odisej

Rimski mozaik: Odisej u borbi protiv sirena

„It is not difficult to see why the Odyssey and its famously adaptable hero have spawned such a rich reception history. Other Homeric heroes (like Agamemnon the king, Achilles the warrior, Ajax the tough guy or Nestor the wise old counsellor) are far more strictly tied to a specific, and limited, set of times, places and social roles. Odysseus, by contrast, is multiple. He is a king like Agamemnon, an adviser like Nestor, a defensive fighter like Ajax and an aggressor, like Achilles. But he is far more than any of these roles. He is also a poet, a beggar, a lover, a husband, a father, a son, a pirate, a sailor, a giant-killer, a military strategist, a hunter, a spy, a politician, a fierce general, a carpenter, a shipwright, a liar, a thief, a polite guest in either a king’s hall or a pigsty, a victim of fortune and its master – to name but a few. Unlike either Achilles (shot in the heel) or Agamemnon (killed in the bath), or Ajax (suicide), he is a survivor. Not coincidentally, he is also a master-storyteller, or poet. The beginning of the Odyssey repeats words for “many” and its cognates four times in as many lines (“the man of many turns … had many wanderings … saw the cities of many different people … and suffered many things”, before he finally got back home). Odysseus goes to many places, knows many things, adapts to many situations, and has many tricks up his sleeve. „

Emily Wilson,  The good rogue Odysseus

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